You might already know Android Player for BlackBerry PlayBook was leaked recently. It looks like pretty much intentional leak just to keep in the news while they work as slow as they can to complete it.
Anyway, I found the required files on CrackBerry forums and gave it a try. At first couple of attempts, after waiting for minutes I got some JAVA socket exception errors, but on third try, it went all fine.
The first thing I did was setup my email account so I can finally use PlayBook for some professional use, rather than just watching movies in spare time.
I was able to sync my Google Apps email, calendar and contacts easily using Android Player for PlayBook. However, there are not buttons to navigate. There’s a left to right swipe gesture on bottom bezel which works as Back command and swipe down for Options command on Android.
later, I explored the sys.android.bar and found there are actually "Virtual Keys" as PNG files for portrait and landscape orientations. So, I took a screenshot of Browser running in Android Player and Photoshop-ed the Virtual Keys PNG image on the the PlayBook screen just to get the idea how it’s gonna look. See for your self in bellow screenshot.
Looks nice, and it will be quite easy to navigate within Android Player with these standard Android buttons.
I think this is a great idea to allow Android apps run on PlayBook, as we have already seen how slow RIM is coming up with native email client, which gives us the idea how future updates going to come.
Just couple of days ago I was asking from a local mobile gadgets shop to exchange my PlayBook with a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Good that I didn’t went all the way to exchange it :D
// chall3ng3r //
I recently noticed after announcement of Adobe Flash Player 10.2 availability, users are searching for downloading Flash Player. As I’ve been installing Flash Player updates manually for some time now, and I am not sure if Adobe have stopped using getPlus (crap-o-ware) plugin for installing Flash Player.
The reason why users are searching for alternate download locations for latest Flash Player is because Adobe have made bad reputation by bundling McAfee, Google Toolbar, etc. and worst of all, a 4-5mb sized getPlus plugin which then downloads, 3-4mb Flash Player.
There’s also big number of searches landing on my blog for Flash Player Standalone or Projector. If some of you might remember, I released a VB6 wrapper for Flash Player 8 ActiveX few years back, users are still downloading it as it works with latest versions as well.
Today I’d like to share a “secret” link which contains direct links to download latest versions of Flash Player plugin installers, but also Standalone / Projector version as well.
Please note, these are Debug versions of the player, meant specifically for developers.
The “Secret” Link: http://www.adobe.com/support/flashplayer/downloads.html
On the above link, you will always find installers of latest version of Adobe Flash Player for Windows, Mac and Linux. You can also download older archived versions as well.
I think Adobe needs to make a similar download location for Production versions of Flash Player, for users who like manually downloading and installing their software.
I hope many users who land on my blog searching for Adobe Flash Player will finally get what they were looking for :)
// chall3ng3r //
It’s not just me who is stuck on really crappy ISP. I know there are millions of users like me around the world :)
I would like to highlight some biggest mistakes which almost every other popular video sharing service make. Yes, that includes YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video, Yahoo Video, or just think of any major service. Just take a look on above screenshots, and try to notice what’s missing?
I know you’re wondering, what are these mistakes?
- Mistake 1: A simple “Stop” button. Can you believe that? There’s always a Pause / Play button and Scrubber, but no one ever cared about adding a simple Stop button.
What this button should do? Well, stop the video and break the damn connection!
If you are on a crappy connection like me, and you clicked to play a video, there’s only one way to stop it sucking all the bandwidth, refresh entire page. Flash Player does offer APIs to close an ongoing stream, but no one uses it.
Life can be really easy for users on slow connections if there’s one more button to Stop a video in the embedded player.
- Mistake 2: It’s just my guess, but I think it’s correct that developers who program these Flash video players are on company’s corporate high speed networks. So, they click the video and it plays. What about users on slow connections?
I don’t think they even bother to test the video playback on slow connection. Flash Player offers APIs to set the video buffer, so the video is buffered for few seconds for smooth playback experience. But again, not used. Or if used, not optimized.
It’s even worst on Adobe own website, where I noticed videos start playing as soon as few bytes are received. The video plays choppy and on homepage intro video, there’s no Pause button”¦ just imagine how bad impression it makes.
- Mistake 3: Tiny player control buttons. As there are more and more touch based devices in hands of users, watching videos on these cool gadgets is increasing. But what I found that designers of Flash video players do not think about if the same player is used on such device.
For example, on my Nokia N900, a cool Maemo Linux based device which can play videos from most of the popular video services, but the controls are not optimized for touch input which makes them hard to use. And really stupid things happen, and user end up closing the video window.
Well, the developer can detect the device and render different set of controls. But I think the easiest option would be to make one design which fits the bill for desktop + touch device optimized user controls.
- Mistake 4: I really hate when I try to quickly pause / stop a video by clicking anywhere on video, which opens a new window to service’s website. As the control buttons are already too small, the general sense is to pause the video when clicked on it. Some services do avoid this mistake, but most services just want the user to get to their website, and this seems to be the easiest option for them.
It’s worst on small screen touch input devices, where user have to do 2-3 tries to actually pause a video. Really bad user experience.
I can just hope and wish my this blog post somehow gets to the actual designers & programmers or decision makers of Flash video players for these video services. And also they try to fix these mistakes.
Do you think there are any more mistakes? Post them in comments.
// chall3ng3r //